Professor Carolien Rieffe, PhD
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Carolien 2016b 2Carolien is professor by special appointent in social and emotional development at Leiden University, Developmental Psychology. She is also hononary professor at UCL, University of London, UK. Carolien is affiliated with the NSDSK, the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child in Amsterdam, who installed her chair at Leiden University (2010). Carolien is the PI in the research programme of the Emotional Development lab, which also involves collaborations with other labs outside Leiden University. She is also part of the Leiden Centre of Data Science (LCDS), a network of researchers who use new methods and technologies for analysing large amounts of data.

"Emotional development takes place within a social context. Not only the emotional expression, but also the emotional experience is shaped by a socialization process." 

Marike Bos2

Marieke Bos, PhD

Marieke’s research interest concerns the social-emotional development of children with an autism spectrum disorder. She uses a psychological and physiological approach to examine emotional development from infancy to adolescence. She is also co-supervising the PhD project of Evelien Broekhof on the longitudinal data analyses concerning moral emotions children with hearing loss.


Boya Li, PhD Boya Li

Boya obtained her PhD at the department of Linguistics at Leiden University. Afterwards she decided to study psychology and also successfully finished her Research Masters in psychology. Boya is currently involved in several ongoing research projects on emotion regulation and emotion understanding in young children with and without an Autism Spectrum Disorder that involve experimental settings, and she is our expert with the eye tracker. Boya also supervises students with their research projects and theses.

Naqi Dahamat Azam, MSc


Naqi Dahamat Azam (Naqi) holds a master degree in Developmental Psychology from Universiti Putra Malaysia. After obtaining his degree, he worked at the same university as an assistant lecturer. Currently, he is working as a researcher, doing his PhD at Leiden University. In his research, Naqi examines several factors that contribute to adolescent aggression in two different countries, Malaysia and the Netherlands. His PhD study is supervised by Carolien Rieffe and Sheida Novin (Michigan University, USA). 

 Neeltje van den Bedem, MScNeeltje van den Bedem

Neeltje is a PhD student who is interested in the social-emotional development of children with a Specific Language Impairment. She is conducting her research in close collaboration with Kentalis and the NSDSK. Afther having studied Sign Linguistics and Pedagogical Sciences, Neeltje worked as a family counselor for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is interested in the way the communication of a child with his of her surroundings influences emotional and social growth. 

Evelien Broekhof, MScEvelien Broekhof2

After finishing her research master in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University, Evelien started as a PhD student in our lab in 2014. Her research concerns the moral development of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Brenda Sousa da Silva, MScBrenda da silva

Brenda obtained her master degree in Psychomotor Therapy at the University of Lisbon. She is currently working in a shelter for families at social risk. Brenda started as a PhD student in our lab in June 2016 under the supervision of Carolien Rieffe, Johan Frijns, Guida Veiga and Berna Guroglu. Her project will focus on the effects of hearing loss on the social and emotional competence of DHH Portuguese children.


ProfilePic YT.TsouYung-Ting Tsou, MSc

Yung-Ting obtained her master degree in Linguistics at Leiden University. After that she went back to Taiwan to work in a cochlear implant center, doing research on language development in children with hearing impairment. Since September 2016 she is a PhD student in our lab under the supervision of Carolien Rieffe, Johan Frijns, Mariska Kret and Boya Li. Her project focuses on emotion understanding in Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants. 


Tirza vdStraaten 2

Tirza van der Straaten, MD

Tirza is a medical doctor who obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degree at the Leiden University Medical Center. Afterwards she has worked at the Department of Surgery of the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague. Currently, Tirza is a PhD student interested in the long term effect of early detection and intervention  of  hearing loss on the social-emotional development of deaf and hard of hearing children (follow-up DECIBEL-study).



Danique Willems

Danique started her master Research Psychology, the developmental track, in 2016. She has been working as a research assistant for Prof. Dr. Rieffe since February 2017, participating in the special research projectwith UCL that is focused on autism in girls. Additionally,  Danique is interested in emotional development in children with language impairments, which will be the focus for her master thesis.


Tamara Lorenz

Tamara Lorenz started following the developmental tract of the Research Master’s program in 2016. Since March 2017, she has been working as a research assistant for the lab, where she is involved in different projects. In June 2017, Tamara worked on a project in collaboration with the University of Evora, Lisbon. The project focused on children’s playground behavior as means of measuring their social competence, using an innovative measuring method based on radio frequency identification devices. For her Master’s thesis, she will be focusing on playground behaviors of children with hearing impairments in particular.


Sjors Bootsman

Sjors Bootsman started studying the developmental track of the Research Master in 2016. He is active in our lab as a research assistant, helping ongoing projects. He is specifically interested in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and will write his master thesis on this subject.


Rachel OConnor

Rachel O'Connor

Rachel O'Connor started her master in Child & Adolescent Psychology in September 2017 and began working as a research assistant in our lab soon after. She has a particular interest in emotion regulation and peer relations in children with ASD and is currently completing her master thesis under Boya's supervision, in which she will examine pupil dilation during emotion recognition in children with ASD or cochlear implants.



Jennifer Schoerke

Jennifer Schoerke (Vermont, USA) grew up with untreated single sided deafness, and became a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) recipient in 2014. Since 2017, Jennifer has been involved in our lab as our text editor on many of our research papers. She also contributes a highly-valued insider perspective to our thoughts and writing on the developmental impact of hearing loss. Currently, Jennifer is working towards her master's degree in Psychology, with the aim of entering a PhD program on the effects of hearing loss on mental health.